NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to make another change to football. He plans on eliminating the PAT.
According to him, and other coaches, the point after attempt has become so automatic that it takes away the excitement from the game. In some cases, he’s right. If it’s so automatic, then why continue to have it? Out of the roughly 1,200 PAT attempts in 2013, only five were missed and four of them were blocked.
The top-17 scorers in the NFL this season were all kickers. Of the top 30, Jamaal Charles was the only non-kicker on the list. Without the PATs, Charles would have tied Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker at the top of the list.
From a fantasy perspective, Gostkowski was the highest-scoring kicker with 176 fantasy points. He would have been the 10th-best running back, 11th wide receiver and second tight end. As a matter of fact, Gostkowski, Matt Prater, Tucker, Steven Hauschka and Adam Vinatieri outscored every tight end except for Jimmy Graham.
You may not think kickers score or help your fantasy team a lot, but they do. In my 10-team league, there were six games decided by five or less points, including two ties. The league standings would have been a lot different in PATs didn’t count. And while you generally draft a kicker in the last round, you still make a good effort to draft a good kicker and not one who’s known for missing “almost automatic” kicks.
While this change isn’t expected to take place this season, it is still something to keep in mind if you are in a dynasty league. If you have a kicker from a team who scores a lot of touchdowns, you may think about switching to a kicker who attempts more field goals because losing those three or four points a game can change everything.